Augmented Urbans

Visionary, Participatory Planning and Integrated Management for Resilient Cities

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.3. Better urban planning in the Central Baltic region

Central Baltic

01.03.2018 - 30.04.2021

€2 029 724

€1 593 160

Project Summary:

Cities around the world have identified the need for better integrated participatory urban management to bridge their long-term visions and objectives into practical urban development actions. AU provides a cross-border collaboration platform to Central Baltic cities willing to address integrated urban planning challenges.

Augmented Urbans (AU) aims at strengthening the integration of three aspects of urban planning: timeframe, participation and technology. It improves stakeholder participation and links  long-term visions with short-term actions to provide high level of expertise to Central Baltic cities. For this reason, new, augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies (AR, VR & MR) are explored and utilised as tools to support urban planning processes in guiding discussions, and providing immersive scenarios.

A shared Matrix of indicators for urban resilience is co-developed and new technologies aid in creating a space for interaction between city officials and local actors. Local urban planning initiatives are run in each city with two iterations. These actiones are supported by a multidisciplinary Advisory Board. The context, objectives and findings planned for each round are co-defined and shared during interregional Planners Forum events. Cities have an opportunity to adopt methods learned from their peers' planning and implementation experiences. In the framework of the projectfive integrated urban management plans are developed to aid Central Baltic cities to become more resilient and sustainable. Gained insights are shared via existing networks.

Lead Partner

Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: FI

Partner budget: 472.978 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 348.301 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Stockholm universitet

Country: SE

Partner budget: 31.460 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 23.595 EUR ERDF

Högskolan i Gävle

Country: SE

Partner budget: 167.892 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 125.919 EUR ERDF

Cēsu novads

Country: LV

Partner budget: 218.803 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 185.982 EUR ERDF

AV Gavlegårdarna

Country: SE

Partner budget: 212.592 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 159.444 EUR ERDF

Tallinna Ülikool

Country: EE

Partner budget: 162.841 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 138.415 EUR ERDF

Helsingin kaupunki

Country: FI

Partner budget: 165.155 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 123.866 EUR ERDF

Viimsi Vallavalitsus

Country: EE

Partner budget: 147.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 124.950 EUR ERDF

Rīgas Plānošanas reģions

Country: LV

Partner budget: 100.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 85.000 EUR ERDF

Tallinna Linnaplaneerimise Amet

Country: EE

Partner budget: 144.354 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 122.701 EUR ERDF

Högskolan i Gävle

Country: SE

Partner budget: 206.648 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 154.986 EUR ERDF

Associated Partners

Vantaan kaupunki

Country: FI

Stockholm stad

Country: SE

KOD arkitekter

Country: SE

Stadsbyggnadskontoret, Stockholms stad

Country: SE

Länsstyrelsen Stockholm

Country: SE

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Urban area covered with integrated urban management

Augmented Urbans improved urban planning

The Augmented Urbans project focused cooperation efforts on three important aspects of the urban planning: local participation and involvement of stakeholders, urban resilience and applying new technologies (XR).


Five integrated urban plans were co-created in the following local actions sites.

TALLINN. The diversity of bees and insects, of which over ten are protected species, inspired the urban planners to focus on pollinators as a central concept in the development of the urban area. Landscape architecture solution largely consisted of meadows and sustainable mobility options. 

Important part of the urban planning was activating local community by gardening activities, organizing events. 

AvaLinn AR application updated and tested. People can walk on site and point their phones on a mural and receive extra information about city plans for the future of the area.

VIIMSI. Project addressed challenges related to sustainable mobility, environmental resilience and access to public services of Viimsi as one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Estonia (namely Haabmeeme main street). Haabneeme Main Street vision and contributions for the Haabneeme Master Plan, stakeholder interactions were accomplished during the project. Also the survey made and 3D model, 360 visualisations and videos developed together with an interactive portal of the site for communicating the plan to local stakeholders.

CESIS. A thematic plan for Gauja river surroundings was developed. Project contribution: a holistic approach of collecting environmental data of the biotopes, stakeholder inputs from a variety of stakeholder groups (both via events & online platform), innovation actions to find new business opportunities on-site and combining these into spatial concept designs by architect students.

HELSINKI. Teollisuuskatu outline plan and participatory methods for outline planning process previously undefined. Utilising three pop-up events, surveys and VR visualisations to facilitate stakeholder participation.

GÄVLE. Management plan for outdoors areas in Gavlegårdarna housing areas, and biodiversity supporting management practices that can be applied to the other properties as well. workshops and events with both tenants and outdoor maintenance personnel were organised, practical actions to engage tenants with their surroundings such as mini gardens, planting meadows, setting up bee hotels and habitats.

While working with the planning, the project had active cooperation with students and universities. It was designed in a way that project-inspired challenges embedded within university courses, have facilitated collaboration between urban planners and students. The students have also participated in the project activities as interns with various project-related tasks.

The student involvement has provided Augmented Urbans with fresh ideas and perspectives. Student concepts are often not burdened by the conventions of designing certain things or the day-to-day procedures of the city administration.


Project partners had special focus on resilience aspects in 7 local sites. The aim was to develop the Matrix of Indicators which would make the concept of resilience more comprehensible and applicable to planners. The matrix was developed to be used more as a pedagogic tool to identify resilience-thinking and sustainability values in each Local Action site and bring those forward for joint discussion to crystallise the policy recommendations.

The final version of the Matrix of Indicators consists of the seven resilience principles where the users are asked “Do the plan and process address the seven principles and how?”. Secondly, users are asked to fill out the four sustainability dimensions by describing the following aspects:

  1. factors & planning actions that support sustainability,
  2. unsustainable factors and
  3. remaining questions.

By pointing out unsustainable factors, it is possible to map out aspects that still need to be addressed in the future.


The Augmented Urbans project has explored ways for extended reality (XR) technologies to support integrated urban planning. The current project has developed and tested twelve XR tools in seven Central Baltic cities and municipalities within this project. 

Practice-based insights collected throughout the project; from its reports, workshop discussions and presentations by the partner urban planners and other experts are presented in the articles available here:

Project page in database
At a glance

The Augmented Urbans project focused cooperation efforts on three important aspects of the urban planning: local participation and involvement of stakeholders, urban resilience and applying new technologies (XR).


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